Within Harry Potter (HP) fandom, ships—relationship theories—come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Some ships are small sailboats with elegant, white sails that can carry only a handful of fans as passengers. These ships, while not popular, are beautiful and fun nevertheless. Other ships are cruise liners: quick, massive, powerful, and home to legions of HP fans.
Some fans insist on boarding the good girl/bad boy ships like Ginny/Draco. But the most popular and controversial ships—the cruise liners—involve the trio themselves: Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
Most fans who ship believe that Hermione will end up with either Harry or Ron, but the million-dollar question is which one? When Jo herself was asked if Ron and Hermione will “ever get together” at the Edinburgh Book Festival, she replied, “…I think that, by now, I’ve given quite a lot of clues on the subject. That is all I’m going to say. You will have to read between the lines on that one.”
During the Comic Relief Chat in March of 2001, Zsenya asked, “Does Hermione like Ron as more than a friend?” Jo’s reply: “The answer to that is in Goblet of Fire, Zsenya!” Thus, according to JKR, reading between the lines in Goblet of Fire (GF) should supply insight into Hermione’s feelings for Ron.
Here is a quote from the very end of “The Yule Ball” (GF23):
He [Harry] climbed into the common room and found Ron and Hermione having a blazing row. Standing ten feet apart, they were bellowing at each other, each scarlet in the face.
“Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?” yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger.
“Oh yeah?” Ron yelled back. “What’s that?”
“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”
Ron mouthed soundlessly like a goldfish out of water as Hermione turned on her heel and stormed up the girls’ staircase to bed. Ronturned to look at Harry.
“Well,” he sputtered, looking thunderstruck, “well—that just proves—completely missed the point -”
Harry didn’t say anything. He liked being back on speaking terms with Ron too much to speak his mind right now—but he somehow thought that Hermione had gotten the point much better than Ron had.
Here, Hermione heavily implies that she wanted Ron to ask her to the ball all along. She practically admits her feelings to Ron by telling him that he should have asked her.
Another helpful quote occurs near the end of “The Second Task” (GF26), just after Harry rescued Ron and Gabrielle, Fleur’s little sister:
…and then she [Fleur] turned to Harry. “You saved ‘er,” she said breathlessly. “Even though she was not your ‘ostage.”
“Yeah,” said Harry, who was now heartily wishing he’d left all three girls tied to the statue.
Fleur bent down, kissed Harry twice on each cheek (he felt his face burn and wouldn’t have been surprised if steam was coming out of his ears again), then said to Ron, “And you too—you ‘elped-”
“Yeah,” said Ron, looking extremely hopeful, “yeah, a bit—”
Fleur swooped down on him too and kissed him. Hermione looked simply furious…
Notice how JKR does not say Hermione looked furious after Harry got kissed, nor does Hermione look furious after Ronstretches the truth a bit. But Hermione does look furious right after Ron receives a kiss from the very girl he has been shamelessly drooling over all year. JKR put this as the very next sentence—in the very same paragraph.
This quote is from about five pages into “Padfoot Returns” (GF27), talking about the Rita Skeeter article that came out after the second task:
“Don’t be stupid,” Hermione snapped, starting to pound up her beetles again. “No, it’s just…how did she know Viktor asked me to visit him over the summer?”
Hermione blushed scarlet as she said this and determinedly avoided Ron’s eyes.
Notice how Hermione is blushing and avoiding Ron’s eyes, not Harry’s. The passage continues:
“What?” said Ron, dropping his pestle with a loud clunk.
“He asked me right after he’d pulled me out of the lake,” Hermione muttered. “After he’d got rid of his shark’s head. Madam Pomfrey gave us both blankets and then he sort of pulled me away from the judges so they wouldn’t hear, and he said, if I wasn’t doing anything over the summer, would I like to—”
“And what did you say?” said Ron, who had picked up his pestle and was grinding it on the desk, a good six inches from his bowl, because he was looking at Hermione.
“And he did say he’d never felt the same about anyone else,” Hermione went on, going so red now that Harry could almost feel the heat coming from her, “but how could Rita Skeeter have heard him? She wasn’t there…or was she? Maybe she has got an Invisibility Cloak; maybe she sneaked onto the grounds to watch the second task…”
“And what did you say?” Ron repeated, pounding his pestle down so hard that it dented the desk.
“Well, I was too busy seeing whether you and Harry were okay to—”
Snape cuts off their conversation at this point. But notice how Ron clearly asks Hermione twice what her answer to Krum was, and still she does not say, despite the fact that she must have been painfully aware of Ron’s curiosity in her answer. Why would she do this? Although the books don’t tell us for sure, it seems unlikely that Hermione went to Bulgaria to visit Krum that summer; so why didn’t she tell Ron that she wasn’t going? It is possible that Hermione was considering accepting Krum’s invitation at this time, and she is avoiding tellingRon this to spare his feelings. But, if this is true, why does she give details to Ron about how Krum “never felt the same about anyone else”? These kinds of details are not the sortHermione should be giving to Ron if trying to spare his feelings. One obvious explanation for Hermione’s actions is that she is deliberately trying to goad Ron into feelings of anger and jealousy over her relationship with Krum.
Another excellent quote can be found in the middle of “The Beginning” (GF37):
“We will see each uzzer again, I ‘ope,” said Fleur as she reached him [Harry], holding out her hand. “I am ‘oping to get a job ‘ere, to improve my Eenglish.”
“It’s very good already,” said Ron in a strangled sort of voice. Fleur smiled at him; Hermione scowled.
Hermione is scowling! And again, Hermione’s anger shows up in conjunction with Fleur giving Ron attention and immediately after Ron drools over Fleur.
These four passages from GF show: (1) Hermione’s anger with Ron because he failed to ask her to the ball in a timely manner, (2) Hermione looking “simply furious” in the same paragraph with Fleur kissing Ron, (3) Hermione avoiding both Ron’s eyes and Ron’s questions about her decision to visit Krum, and (4) Hermione’s scowl in the same sentence with Fleur’s smile at Ron.
So, what is it that Jo wants fans to understand about Hermione’s feelings for Ron by reading in between these lines? Hermione does indeed like Ron as more than just a friend. Hermione wants Ron to return these feelings, and she is angry with Ron when he doesn’t even think of asking her to the ball until the last minute. Hermione tells Ron all about Krum’s feelings for her, without provocation, and she twice avoids giving Ron the answer he really wants to hear in order to fan the flames of Ron’s jealousy of herself and Krum. Hermione is quite jealous of Ron’s attraction to Fleur, and Hermione is extremely irritated whenever Fleur shows any inclination toward reciprocating these feelings.
The Weasley-Granger ship is a long and luxurious cruise liner. The ship is painted Weasley-red, of course; it is fully equipped with the largest seafaring library in the world; an entire deck is dedicated to the Weasley nursery to house all of those little Weasley children; and there is more than enough room for all fans who wish to board.